Hello lovely. I'm Sas.

photos-mystory1I’m a Certified Coach trained by Dr. Martha Beck and the Coaches Training Institute and right now, I’m wading through an MA/PhD in Coaching & Mentoring at Oxford Brookes (yep, I likes to be learnin’).

I became a coach after almost twenty years of helping thousands of people navigate change in their place of work, and facing the crucibles in my own life: grief, loss and longing.

My own transformation path has led me right to you.

First, some backstory…

When I was five, I was in the Red Group at my tiny school in the South Island of New Zealand, because I was best at reading. I had to sit at the front of the class because I was also best at talking. And questioning. Everything. All the time.

I have a boundless curiosity for words and people, stories and ideas.

At university I studied psychology, philosophy, poetry, feminism, theology and politics; consequently I’m a fabulous dinner party guest. I also learnt not to ever let anyone cut your hair in exchange for a Def Leppard CD.

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But no amount of book learning could prepare me for the sudden death of my beloved mother, one random Tuesday in 2002. A year later came the equally unceremonious end of my marriage.

Grief-struck and sad, I raged against the universe for all the ways I had been wronged. During the day, I was leading big complex projects; at night I resorted to my lifelong default of food and wine to numb out my too-hard-to-feel feelings. I spent a lot of time in my little London flat, thinking.

Then I had a LOT of therapy.

I decided I did not want this to be my story.

Instead, I decided to say yes. Often.

And I found myself playing cards until 3am with several German backpackers in an underground Estonian bar, exploring the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and running with bulls in Pamplona. I was woken by the call to prayer in a Marrakech riad, kayaked the Cares Gorge and climbed the Picos Mountains in Northern Spain. I watched the sun set in Santorini, attended the dawn service at ANZAC cove, and survived a snowstorm in the Swiss Alps with cider, strudel and uno. I crossed the Charles Bridge in Prague and backpacked around Italy for weeks; I compared the breakfast pastries of New York, Bruges, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Paris and had my luggage lost every single time I flew Iberia airlines.

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My pendulum swung from ‘Woman Curled Up in a Ball’, to ‘Most Likely to Skinny Dip’ for half a dozen years of exhausting, brilliant fun.

But I knew I was a disembodied head chasing the next high.

Work, pinot noir, shopping, food, too many adventures with infelicitous lovers — it was all an Olympic-level exercise in staying busy, to avoid being alone and facing the truth: that I felt broken, disconnected and angry, often with a little guilt and shame sprinkled on top. Neat.

It wasn’t until I stopped trying to outrun vulnerability and uncertainty that I really started to heal.

Utterly knackered, I went home to New Zealand to rest. Staying still allowed me to breathe out. I began to feel all the scary feelings. It was like wearing a scratchy, woolly jumper 24/7. It felt epically crappy. But I knew it was real.

I opened myself up to the whole spectrum of emotion, and everything transformed.

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Over time I was able to love all of my story; heart-shaking losses, and cringe-worthy mistakes included.

I know this will be a lifelong practice.

I began writing on the interwebs in 2007, and found myself connecting to the most amazing peeps. A magic alchemy of healing, teaching and learning came from sharing and it’s no small truth to say that blogging changed my life.

And here I am: sober, amplified and thriving, without all of my shit together, mostly in the flow of an awakened life.

I have a conscious, loving relationship with my body, cherished friends who expand me in all the best ways. I’ve found the place I feel most at home is an ancient English woodland, 12,000 miles away from the tiny New Zealand fishing village where I was born. And after over two decades of being in the wrong job, I’ve gone from being a miserable six-figure earning Corporateer (like a Mouseketeer but waaaay crapper) to finding my soul’s purpose.

I share my life with Ash: Mr P – my best friend and co-conspirator – I don’t ever want our conversation to be over.

And I’d love to know more about you.

Come and meet the most generous and fabulous blog readers in the known universe…

Big love,

sas